Sudan opposition head says banned from travel

An opposition leader said intelligence agents barred him from leaving Sudan on Sunday, weeks after he was released from jail following his criticism of security services.

Khartoum: An opposition leader said intelligence agents barred him from leaving Sudan on Sunday, weeks after he was released from jail following his criticism of security services.

Sudanese Congress head Ibrahim al-Sheikh said he passed customs at Khartoum airport when a National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) officer prevented him from boarding his flight to Dubai.

"After I handed over my boarding card, a NISS officer came and said I was banned from travelling and took my passport and told me to collect it from the NISS offices" on Monday, he said in a statement.

NISS did not say why they had prevented him from leaving, Sheikh said.

Sheikh, a businessman and former university professor, was released from prison in September after nearly three months in jail.

He was arrested after his criticism of actions of the counter-insurgency unit known as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and over politically motivated arrests.

The RSF have been battling rebels in western Sudan`s Darfur region, which has been gripped by war since 2003.

In April, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said in a report that RSF elements had attacked and burned villages in the region.

More than 300,000 people have been killed and two million displaced by fighting in Darfur since 2003, according to the UN.

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